Update #3 (10/07/13): We just hit our first Stretch Goal and that means we'll be bringing back the Rock Band Stage. You can read the update here.
Update #2 (07/07/13): Some folks asked for a little more detail about the history of the event, so here's an update so you can see where we're coming from.
Update #1 (23/06/13): For those who had been wondering about the higher reward tiers, have no fear, the first update is here! This should hopefully clear up any issues. If you still have any questions, feel free to fire us a message.
Button Mash started life two-and-a-half years ago as a plan to throw a big gaming party in the theatre where we all worked. It was rough around the edges, it was our first time doing anything of the sort, but people turned out in droves and what's more, they all loved it!
We had our very own custom-built gaming arcade cabinet, an Xbox 360 hooked up to a cinema screen, Rock Band on a stage with gig lighting and a smoke machine, as well as rooms and rooms of consoles. There were gaming themed drinks courtesy of the talented chaps at The Drunken Moogle. It was an unmatched experience.
Buoyed on by success, we ran several more events, all met with praise. Our second event tied in to the launch of Portal 2 and saw us nearly die hanging a huge wooden portal on the front of the building. In the summer we ran a monkey island themed event with live music and later in the year the zombie face paint came out for a Halloween shindig.
This was over a year ago, now...
Sadly, the theatre hosting us went into administration. This left us without a home. This didn't faze us. We've been biding our time. We've spent a while looking at other venues, but none have been able to offer us quite the same thing The Bradford Playhouse offered us. We've also branched out into other ventures, experimenting in online journalism as well as game commentary on YouTube.
In a quirk of good fortune though, The Bradford Playhouse has a new management. From our prior success they know who we are and what we do and are more than happy to work with us on bringing Button Mash back to the venue.
There's just one catch...
The previous management were happy to give us the venue for free or nearly free on the basis that we were staff within the building. When the building closed, we all had to find work elsewhere and we now approach this venture from the perspective of an outside company. As a consequence we would have to hire out the building in order to run our event.
So why are we asking you to fund this via Kickstarter? Well, it's a position we've not been in before and carries a financial risk for us. If we were to put our personal money as well as our time and energy into this and nobody showed up, that could finish us. By structuring our event this way, it works out for everyone. Much of the risk, both for you and for us, is mitigated and as a bonus we can get a feel ahead of time for the demand we're likely to see and can tailor the event accordingly. On top of that it offers us the opportunity to talk to you personally and find out what you want to see. We know what we want, and we think you'll love it, but it'll be even better if you can tell us what you want, too!
The main bar space is free to hire, so we can say with certainty that this event will go ahead no matter what, but your contribution could determine the scale. Hitting our primary goal would allow us to hire out the main auditorium space. The studio space which transforms into a Rock Band stage will cost us extra. The second floor "sewing room" bar and top floor gallery space each have further costs associated. To hire the entire building for a day would allow us to throw a Button Mash party of unprecedented scale!
Any funding beyond this room hire would allow us to invest in blowing your mind!
If we don't meet our goal, we're doing this anyway. The main bar is free to hire so there's no excuses. It'll need to be a smaller, cosier affair but we'll fill the bar with consoles and you can come bring your mates and play Mario Kart on the sofa together.
If we meet our goal, we can use the auditorium with its cinema screen. Previously we've run big core titles like Halo or Call of Duty on it but experience shows that it doesn't work out super well. I know, I know, you wanted CoD on a 30-foot screen. That's the dream, right? But unfortunately those kind of games take a while to play out and although it might be a great experience for you, the thirty people in the queue behind you have to wait twenty minutes for you to finish your game. What has worked well? Quick games and more players. The more social it is, the more fun it is. We're looking at running fast, highly-competitive titles like Battleblock Theater or Super Smash Bros instead, so everyone can have a good time.
The event will be taking place on September 21st 2013, and we're asking £4 to pre-order your ticket through Kickstarter. We'll be offering tickets on a pay-what-you-want basis on the day (because that's what all the cool kids are doing these days), but we don't want you to feel like you've been cheated by supporting us early. Kickstarter backers will be given first priority at the door - no more waiting in line like a schmuck - and what's more, Kickstarter backers will also get to play a minigame to receive cool door prizes. If the worst should happen and we don't meet our goal, obviously we can't take ticket pre-orders, but come down to the event anyway, it'll still be pay-what-you-want and it'll still be heaps of fun!
You gamers are a competitive crowd, so we reckon we could get some entertainment out of that. Obviously we're going to need to pit a load of you against each other in a battle for swag and glory that we are titling "The Mash-Up". We've run informal "sign-up-on-the-day" tournaments in the past, but honestly, we'd prefer to be herding nyan cats. This time we're going to do it right. If you preorder your ticket through this kickstarter we'll offer you the chance to opt in to our little game. We'll pick up to 16 'lucky' people from those who opted in, and these "Mashtronauts" will go on to compete in three rounds of various games for our entertainment pleasure with only one ultimate victor who will go home showered in glory and a bunch of cool stuff, too. If this sounds like something you absolutely need to be a part of (and let's be honest, being a Mashtronaut is pretty prestigious in itself) then you can guarantee yourself a place by backing us at the "Mashtronaut" level.
However you choose to opt in to our little scheme, prospective Mashtronauts obviously need to be able to guarantee that they'll be able to make it down for the whole day. If you're not sure you'll be able to make it, please don't opt in.
Need to know more? There's a whole update on the subject, if you're not yet sold.
Bringing gaming to the big screen in the auditorium is our biggest goal but there's so much more we want to offer. In order to make this a reality we're aiming for a number of stretch goals.
£450 - At this level we can bring back the much-loved Rock Band stage. With gig lighting, a smoke machine and your own captive audience, this is karaoke turned up to 11!
£600 - If we reach this level, our friends from Sabre Wargames will take control of the second floor to put together an excellent tabletop gaming space. Tabletop gaming is something we all love but haven't previously had a chance to bring to the public like this, so we're super excited about this space.
£750 - At this stage we'd have full run of the entire building for the day. Now there's a thought! We've already secured the support of Johann Sebastian Joust developer Die Gute Fabrik to bring their unique title to Button Mash, and reaching this goal would allow us to give it the space needed to do it justice.
£1000 - Tragically, the prized arcade cabinet from days of yore never survived the transition of the theatre. We're dying to return it to its rightful place, but it will need time, resources and a few pieces of specialised equipment. Reaching this goal would allow us to make this happen.
£1000+ - There will be cake, it will be delicious and moist, and you won't even need to take the party escort submission position to recieve it. Seriously though, this would be staggering. We've not really contemplated anything of this scale, but rest assured that if we reach this kind of figure we'll make sure it's used for awesome.
£1 - Thank You!
You have our eternal gratitude for your support and Meroka will give you a shout out in one of his videos.
£4 - Ticket to BM
Order your ticket to Button mash right now! If this campaign succeeds we'll email you your ticket and you'll be able to jump the queue on the day! Includes the previous reward.
£10 - Merch!
In addition to being able to jump the queue, we'll even give you a piece of hand-crafted gaming paraphernalia because we love you. Includes all previous rewards.
£25 - T-Shirts!
Trinkets not enough? When you jump the queue, we'll also give you your very own Button Mash T-shirt to wear with pride. Please let us know your sizing so we can get the right one for you. Includes all previous rewards.
£50 - Mashtronaut
So you absolutely need to be a part of the Mash-Up? That's cool, we understand. Backing us at this level guarantees you one of the 16 prestigious places in our tournament. You'll get your own custom Mashtronaut t-shirt so everyone will know exactly who you are, and you'll get the VIP treatment.
If you back us at this level you need to be able to commit to attending the whole event. Includes all previous rewards.
£75 - Mashtronomer
Tell us what you most want to see at Button Mash, anything at all (within reason), and we'll do our damnedest to make it happen for you. You'll also get the VIP treatment at the event. Includes all previous rewards except Mashtronaut.
£150 - Mashtrophysicist
If you're prepared to support Button Mash like this we'll make you an honorary project advisor. You're invited to join our weekly planning meetings and help shape the course of Button Mash. Includes all previous rewards except Mashtronaut.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is likely balancing work on this project with our day jobs, but it's something we've done plenty of times before and are confident we can deliver again!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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